science and policy

 Sure is Jane!

Jane Goodall calls Trump’s climate change agenda ‘immensely depressing’

The leading conservationist Jane Goodall has condemned Donald Trump’s bid to rip up America’s climate change policies as “immensely depressing” and flying in the face of scientific evidence.

The US president signed an executive order on Tuesday aimed at dismantling Barack Obama’s clean power plan, intended to limit greenhouse gases from power plants. Trump’s move calls US commitment to the Paris accord into question.                       

“I find it immensely depressing because many of us – not just my institute – have been working really hard to create the Paris agreement and global effort to cut carbon emissions,” Goodall told journalists ahead of a speech at American University in Washington. “Thinking that the USA isn’t going to play its part, such a major industrial country, is really very, very sad and it just means we’re going to have to work harder.”

The British scientist Jane Goodall: ‘ I have seen the result of climate change and we know, science has shown, that global temperatures are warming.’ Photograph: Bertrand Guay/AFP/Getty Images

Vaccination is not an individual choice, it’s a social choice.

The consequences of failing to vaccinate your child extend to society at large: you jeopardise herd immunity and expose those who cannot be vaccinated to deadly diseases.

It’s incredibly simple. You aren’t allowed to choose to drink and drive, because you might kill someone; you should not be allowed to choose not to vaccinate, because you might kill someone.

The Crisis of Governance

America is in a crisis of governance. There is no adult in charge.

Instead, we have as president an unhinged narcissistic child who tweets absurd lies and holds rallies to prop up his fragile ego, whose conflicts of financial interest are ubiquitous, and whose presidency is under a “gray cloud” of suspicion (according to the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee) for colluding with Russian agents to obtain office in the 2016 election.

He’s advised by his daughter, his son-in-law, and an oddball who once ran a white supremacist fake-news outlet.

His cabinet is an assortment of billionaires, CEOs, veterans of Wall Street, and ideologues, none of whom has any idea about how to govern and most of whom don’t believe in the laws their departments are in charge of implementing anyway.

He has downgraded or eviscerated groups responsible for giving presidents professional advice on foreign policy, foreign intelligence, economics, science, and domestic policy. He gets most of what he learns from television.

Meanwhile, Congress is in the hands of Republicans who for years have only said “no,” who have become expert at stopping whatever a president wants to do but don’t have a clue how to initiate policy, most of whom have never passed a budget into law, and, more generally, don’t much like government and have not shared responsibility for governing the nation.

As a result of all this, the most powerful nation in the world with the largest economy in the world is rudderless and leaderless.

Where we need thoughtful resolve we have thoughtless name-calling. Where we need democratic deliberation we have authoritarian rants and rallies. Where we need vision we have myopia.

The only way out of this crisis of governance is for us – the vast majority of Americans who deserve and know better – to take charge. Your country needs you desperately. 


• 28th march 2016 • 

Morning for working, afternoon for studying.

Made a delicious one pot pasta because I didn’t want to waste precious time cooking (it takes 15 minutes, more or less). My cats kept me company while I was studying the International Criminal Court.

So this happened yesterday! April 29th, 2017 at 2PM my Masters Degree was conferred and I am
So honored and humbled! Thank you God for the sacrifice for the support and for everyone who’s been apart of this journey! I can go anywhere because of you! Thank you God, for FAMU! This is My Black Excellence!

Nick Burnett, MPH
Florida A&M University
Class of 2017!

B L A C K B O Y J O Y!!!!!

thranduilsbuttcheeks  asked:

Hi, so I see you post a lot about implicit bias, and are there any particular like concrete ways you think people can work on it.

The biggest thing by far is acknowledging that implicit bias is real and that you’re influenced by it. (We all are!) Just being conscious of it is a big thing.

If you recognize that you’re doing it, that’s a good thing. The common reaction to bias in fandom is a million and one justifications for why (for example) the white minor character is more engaging than the lead of color, or why an all white ship is more fascinating than a ship with color. It’s ok to admit that implicit bias has something to do with it. We’ve been taught by Western media to prioritize white characters all our lives.

Concrete steps you can take are, for example, seeking out media that doesn’t center on whiteness. The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues*   (I’ll link the article below) says that exposure to underrepresented characters can increase empathy (specifically, they found that people responded more positively to Asain Americans after viewing The Joy Luck Club). And not just media that features characters of color among white characters, media that takes you out of the white (or het, or abled, etc) default. Moonlight, The Get Down, Master of None, Blackish, Insecure, Being Mary Jane, Fresh Off The Boat, Atlanta, and Speechless are just a few examples of shows that don’t really allow you to empathize with the default first and foremost.

It also helps if “default” people don’t isolate themselves from people who are different from themselves. Everyone knows that having a “black friend” doesn’t mean you can’t be implicitly (or even explicitly) racist, but minimizing contact with different kinds of people by choosing neighborhoods, schools, workplaces ect that don’t value inclusion can seriously affect empathy levels. (This point was is also mentioned by Psychology Today).

On Tumblr, that might mean listening to things that make you uncomfortable without tearing them down or “rebelling” against it.

What you should not do is fake it. Don’t say you love marginalized character to pieces if you focus nearly all of your fannish attention on white (het, abled, typical, thin ect) characters, write ships with color into fics as side ships to white ships and say you love both ships equally, don’t try to make the white character less of a default by headcanoning things like mental illness (especially if you don’t consider such things when it comes to characters of color). Don’t be performative, be introspective. It’s not something that can be changed just by reblogging pictures of characters of color because you know you should.

Hope this helps. You can read more from people with clinical experience here:

*Correction: This from the blog Sound Science, Sound Policy from The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, one of the blogs on Psychology Today’s website. The information comes from the Perception Institute’s report The Science of Equality: Addressing Implicit Bias, Racial Anxiety, and Stereotype Threat in Education and Healthcare.

Midheaven in Scorpio

Career Fields for the Scorpio Midheaven: Engineering and Computer Science, Law and Public Policy, Nonprofit, and Sciences

Those with their Midheaven in Scorpio are by no means easy to figure out. They are closed off and that’s usually because they are the ones who are capable of self motivating themselves in the workplace. They do not rely on others and can handle things on their own. They’re the types to sit back, observe and learn from others mistakes. With this, they know what not to do and what to do in order to aim higher. Scorpio Midheavens aren’t afraid to go after what they want, but they go after what they want in a quiet way. Like a stealth hunter.

Scorpio Midheavens want to build a secure place for themselves in their professional environment. Almost like they want to control and master their own profession. Scorpio Midheavens hate being told what to do and would be better off self employed. Something that Scorpio Midheavens have, that nobody else gives them credit for, is their amazing intuition. These individuals are so deep and dive so deeply into the mind of others that it’s no wonder they generally make excellent psychologists. They are able to understand where people are coming from and are great at reading body language. The Scorpio Midheaven should be careful of not overworking themselves because they could get frustrated when things aren’t met up to their own standards. They can destroy and beat themselves up internally if they are not cautious. Scorpio Midheaven has tremendous capability in helping not only others, but themselves as well if they learn to not be so hard on themselves. This will allow the Scorpio Midheaven to grow into a leader and role model for others.

As much as I really love science, and think science funding, science education and increased scientific literacy are incredibly important things, I’m also very against the idea that objective facts are the only truths in the world. Also that objective facts are anything but an unreachable goal.

Science is full of bias. The way studies are designed, what is chosen to be researched, what is chosen to be published - all of these things can influence the resulting facts, and that’s not to mention how the facts are contextualised. Science does pretty well at eliminating a lot of bias, and is still in my opinion one of the best ways of doing that, but it’s not perfect. And if you’re not perfect in eliminating bias, pretending you are is perhaps the worst sort of bias. 

There’s also an awful lot about our world that can’t be quantified, and that isn’t useful to quantify. That doesn’t mean it can’t be understood, and that scientific methods can’t help with that, but the idea that if you can’t measure something objectively then it’s not important is downright dangerous. 

We also should forget that when lambasting people about believing in “alternative facts”, it’s important to remember that scientific communication is a hugely important and overlooked part of science, and that shouting facts at people =/= communication. I don’t have all the answers to this, but it’s a question I think about almost every day, and is definitely where I intend to direct my career. 

As a start though, understanding where people are coming from, in both opinion and prior knowledge, is essential to the narrative framing of science in a way that they can understand and also accurately contextualises our communal knowledge. Only through that will people be able to form informed opinions on everything from vaccines to climate change to autonomous vehicles. The exact strategies depend on the topic, the context, and the the person you’re communicating with. It’s not an easy task, but it’s important. 

Every year, humans cut down approximately 15 billion trees.

Aside from providing 30% of our planet’s oxygen, trees are vital in providing habitat, holding soil, controlling floods, reducing noise pollution, and maintaining biodiversity.

A single tree has the capacity to absorb 20 tons of carbon dioxide, produce 1550 pounds of oxygen, and take in 45 pounds of suspended dust in a given year. Yet, since the dawn of their time, humans have reduced the Earth’s tree coverage by nearly one half. 


“After 21 years of debates and conferences, it is time to declare no more talk. No more excuses. No more ten-year studies. No more allowing the fossil fuel companies to manipulate and dictate the science and policies that affect our future. The world is now watching. You will either be lauded by future generations, or vilified by them.”

Before the Flood (2016)